New management will take over operations at the Queen Theatre in Wilmington after World Café Live leaves.
World Café Live at the Queen announced to its supporters that it will close its doors on May 25, six years after opening in Wilmington.
“Despite our best efforts to make the Queen a seven-day-a-week operation like our Philly venue, we have not been able to generate the revenue required to sustain such an ambitious business model,” the announcement read on WCL’s Facebook page.
While some published news reports indicated that the Queen Theatre, too, was closing, Wilmington’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Communications John Rago said those reports are incorrect.
“The current agreement with Hal Real’s company, World Café Live, to manage the Queen Theatre will end in May and a new management company will operate the Queen,” said Rago, in an email. “The Queen is NOT closing.”
Rago added more information would be forthcoming.
The historic Queen reopened in April 2011 after $25 million was spent to reconstruct the landmark building on Market Street, as part of an effort to revitalize downtown.
“We are proud of the role we have played as a catalyst for revitalizing downtown Wilmington, although we had hoped the downtown renaissance would have grown at a more rapid pace,” WCL’s Facebook post read.
Real, who oversaw the theatre’s renovation from the very beginning, said WCL’s plan now is to throw all of its efforts behind the venue in Philadelphia and to launch, “World Café Live Presents,” a concept that would bring WCL concerts and events at outside venues.
In the months remaining, WCL shows and events, including this year’s Shine A Light concert fundraiser benefitting the Light Up the Queen Foundation, will go on as scheduled.
Also, on May 25, WCL will host a free final show featuring performances by many of the Brandywine Valley’s most cherished groups and performers.